1Long ago God spoke many times and
in many ways to our ancestors through
2But now in these final days, he has
spoken to us through his Son. God
promised everything to the Son as an
inheritance, and through the Son he
made the universe and everything in it.
3The Son reflects God's own glory, and
everything about him represents God
exactly. He sustains the universe by the
mighty power of his command. After he
died to cleanse us from the stain of sin,
he sat down in the place of honor at the
right hand of the majestic God of
4This shows that God's Son is far
greater than the angels, just as the
name God gave him is far greater than
5For God never said to any angel what
he said to Jesus: "You are my Son.
Today I have become your Father. " And
again God said, "I will be his Father, and
he will be my Son."
6And then, when he presented his
honored Son to the world, God said,
"Let all the angels of God worship him."
7God calls his angels "messengers swift
as the wind, and servants made of
8But to his Son he says, "Your throne, O
God, endures forever and ever. Your
royal power is expressed in
9You love what is right and hate what is
wrong. Therefore God, your God, has
anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy
on you more than on anyone else."
10And, "Lord, in the beginning you laid
the foundation of the earth, and the
heavens are the work of your hands.
11Even they will perish, but you remain
forever. They will wear out like old
12You will roll them up like an old coat.
They will fade away like old clothing. But
you are always the same; you will never
13And God never said to an angel, as he
did to his Son, "Sit in honor at my right
hand until I humble your enemies,
making them a footstool under your
14But angels are only servants. They are
spirits sent from God to care for those
who will receive salvation.
2So we must listen very carefully to
the truth we have heard, or we may drift
away from it.
2The message God delivered through
angels has always proved true, and the
people were punished for every violation
of the law and every act of disobedience.
3What makes us think that we can
escape if we are indifferent to this great
salvation that was announced by the
Lord Jesus himself? It was passed on to
us by those who heard him speak,
4and God verified the message by signs
and wonders and various miracles and
by giving gifts of the Holy Spirit
whenever he chose to do so.
5And furthermore, the future world we
are talking about will not be controlled
6For somewhere in the Scriptures it says,
"What is man that you should think of
him, and the son of man that you should
care for him?
7For a little while you made him lower
than the angels, and you crowned him
with glory and honor.
8You gave him authority over all things."
Now when it says "all things," it means
nothing is left out. But we have not yet
seen all of this happen.
9What we do see is Jesus, who "for a
little while was made lower than the
angels" and now is "crowned with glory
and honor" because he suffered death
for us. Yes, by God's grace, Jesus
tasted death for everyone in all the
10And it was only right that God--who
made everything and for whom
everything was made--should bring his
many children into glory. Through the
suffering of Jesus, God made him a
perfect leader, one fit to bring them into
11So now Jesus and the ones he makes
holy have the same Father. That is why
Jesus is not ashamed to call them his
brothers and sisters.
12For he said to God, "I will declare the
wonder of your name to my brothers
and sisters. I will praise you among all
13He also said, "I will put my trust in
him." And in the same context he said,
"Here I am--together with the children
God has given me."
14Because God's children are human
beings--made of flesh and blood--Jesus
also became flesh and blood by being
born in human form. For only as a
human being could he die, and only by
dying could he break the power of the
Devil, who had the power of death.
15Only in this way could he deliver those
who have lived all their lives as slaves to
the fear of dying.
16We all know that Jesus came to help
the descendants of Abraham, not to
help the angels.
17Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus
to be in every respect like us, his
brothers and sisters, so that he could be
our merciful and faithful High Priest
before God. He then could offer a
sacrifice that would take away the sins
of the people.
18Since he himself has gone through
suffering and temptation, he is able to
help us when we are being tempted.
3And so, dear brothers and sisters
who belong to God and are bound for
heaven, think about this Jesus whom we
declare to be God's Messenger and
2For he was faithful to God, who
appointed him, just as Moses served
faithfully and was entrusted with God's
3But Jesus deserves far more glory than
Moses, just as a person who builds a
fine house deserves more praise than
the house itself.
4For every house has a builder, but God
is the one who made everything.
5Moses was certainly faithful in God's
house, but only as a servant. His work
was an illustration of the truths God
would reveal later.
6But Christ, the faithful Son, was in
charge of the entire household. And we
are God's household, if we keep up our
courage and remain confident in our
hope in Christ.
7That is why the Holy Spirit says, "Today
you must listen to his voice.
8Don't harden your hearts against him
as Israel did when they rebelled, when
they tested God's patience in the
9There your ancestors tried my patience,
even though they saw my miracles for
10So I was angry with them, and I said,
'Their hearts always turn away from me.
They refuse to do what I tell them.'
11So in my anger I made a vow: 'They
will never enter my place of rest.' "
12Be careful then, dear brothers and
sisters. Make sure that your own hearts
are not evil and unbelieving, turning you
away from the living God.
13You must warn each other every day,
as long as it is called "today," so that
none of you will be deceived by sin and
hardened against God.
14For if we are faithful to the end,
trusting God just as firmly as when we
first believed, we will share in all that
belongs to Christ.
15But never forget the warning: "Today
you must listen to his voice. Don't
harden your hearts against him as Israel
did when they rebelled."
16And who were those people who
rebelled against God, even though they
heard his voice? Weren't they the ones
Moses led out of Egypt?
17And who made God angry for forty
years? Wasn't it the people who sinned,
whose bodies fell in the wilderness?
18And to whom was God speaking when
he vowed that they would never enter
his place of rest? He was speaking to
those who disobeyed him.
19So we see that they were not allowed
to enter his rest because of their
4God's promise of entering his place
of rest still stands, so we ought to
tremble with fear that some of you might
fail to get there.
2For this Good News--that God has
prepared a place of rest--has been
announced to us just as it was to them.
But it did them no good because they
didn't believe what God told them.
3For only we who believe can enter his
place of rest. As for those who didn't
believe, God said, "In my anger I made
a vow: 'They will never enter my place of
rest,' " even though his place of rest has
been ready since he made the world.
4We know it is ready because the
Scriptures mention the seventh day,
saying, "On the seventh day God rested
from all his work."
5But in the other passage God said,
"They will never enter my place of rest."
6So God's rest is there for people to
enter. But those who formerly heard the
Good News failed to enter because they
7So God set another time for entering
his place of rest, and that time is today.
God announced this through David a
long time later in the words already
quoted: "Today you must listen to his
voice. Don't harden your hearts against
8This new place of rest was not the land
of Canaan, where Joshua led them. If it
had been, God would not have spoken
later about another day of rest.
9So there is a special rest still waiting for
the people of God.
10For all who enter into God's rest will find rest from their
labors, just as God
rested after creating the world.
11Let us do our best to enter that place
of rest. For anyone who disobeys God,
as the people of Israel did, will fall.
12For the word of God is full of living
power. It is sharper than the sharpest
knife, cutting deep into our innermost
thoughts and desires. It exposes us for
what we really are.
13Nothing in all creation can hide from
him. Everything is naked and exposed
before his eyes. This is the God to
whom we must explain all that we have
14That is why we have a great High
Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus
the Son of God. Let us cling to him and
never stop trusting him.
15This High Priest of ours understands
our weaknesses, for he faced all of the
same temptations we do, yet he did not
16So let us come boldly to the throne of
our gracious God. There we will receive
his mercy, and we will find grace to help
us when we need it.
5Now a high priest is a man chosen to
represent other human beings in their
dealings with God. He presents their
gifts to God and offers their sacrifices for
2And because he is human, he is able to
deal gently with the people, though they
are ignorant and wayward. For he is
subject to the same weaknesses they
3That is why he has to offer sacrifices,
both for their sins and for his own sins.
4And no one can become a high priest
simply because he wants such an honor.
He has to be called by God for this work,
just as Aaron was.
5That is why Christ did not exalt himself
to become High Priest. No, he was
chosen by God, who said to him, "You
are my Son. Today I have become your
6And in another passage God said to
him, "You are a priest forever in the line
7While Jesus was here on earth, he
offered prayers and pleadings, with a
loud cry and tears, to the one who could
deliver him out of death. And God heard
his prayers because of his reverence for
8So even though Jesus was God's Son,
he learned obedience from the things he
9In this way, God qualified him as a
perfect High Priest, and he became the
source of eternal salvation for all those
who obey him.
10And God designated him to be a High
Priest in the line of Melchizedek.
11There is so much more we would like
to say about this. But you don't seem to
listen, so it's hard to make you
12You have been Christians a long time
now, and you ought to be teaching
others. Instead, you need someone to
teach you again the basic things a
beginner must learn about the
Scriptures. You are like babies who
drink only milk and cannot eat solid food.
13And a person who is living on milk isn't
very far along in the Christian life and
doesn't know much about doing what is
14Solid food is for those who are mature,
who have trained themselves to
recognize the difference between right
and wrong and then do what is right.
6So let us stop going over the basics
of Christianity again and again. Let us
go on instead and become mature in our
understanding. Surely we don't need to
start all over again with the importance
of turning away from evil deeds and
placing our faith in God.
2You don't need further instruction about
baptisms, the laying on of hands, the
resurrection of the dead, and eternal
3And so, God willing, we will move
forward to further understanding.
4For it is impossible to restore to
repentance those who were once
enlightened--those who have
experienced the good things of heaven
and shared in the Holy Spirit,
5who have tasted the goodness of the
word of God and the power of the age to
6and who then turn away from God. It is
impossible to bring such people to
repentance again because they are
nailing the Son of God to the cross
again by rejecting him, holding him up to
7When the ground soaks up the rain that
falls on it and bears a good crop for the
farmer, it has the blessing of God.
8But if a field bears thistles and thorns, it
is useless. The farmer will condemn that
field and burn it.
9Dear friends, even though we are
talking like this, we really don't believe
that it applies to you. We are confident
that you are meant for better things,
things that come with salvation.
10For God is not unfair. He will not forget
how hard you have worked for him and
how you have shown your love to him
by caring for other Christians, as you
11Our great desire is that you will keep
right on loving others as long as life
lasts, in order to make certain that what
you hope for will come true.
12Then you will not become spiritually
dull and indifferent. Instead, you will
follow the example of those who are
going to inherit God's promises because
of their faith and patience.
13For example, there was God's promise
to Abraham. Since there was no one
greater to swear by, God took an oath in
his own name, saying:
14"I will certainly bless you richly, and I
will multiply your descendants into
15Then Abraham waited patiently, and
he received what God had promised.
16When people take an oath, they call
on someone greater than themselves to
hold them to it. And without any
question that oath is binding.
17God also bound himself with an oath,
so that those who received the promise
could be perfectly sure that he would
never change his mind.
18So God has given us both his promise
and his oath. These two things are
unchangeable because it is impossible
for God to lie. Therefore, we who have
fled to him for refuge can take new
courage, for we can hold on to his
promise with confidence.
19This confidence is like a strong and
trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads
us through the curtain of heaven into
God's inner sanctuary.
20Jesus has already gone in there for us.
He has become our eternal High Priest
in the line of Melchizedek.
7This Melchizedek was king of the city
of Salem and also a priest of God Most
High. When Abraham was returning
home after winning a great battle
against many kings, Melchizedek met
him and blessed him.
2Then Abraham took a tenth of all he
had won in the battle and gave it to
Melchizedek. His name means "king of
justice." He is also "king of peace"
because Salem means "peace."
3There is no record of his father or
mother or any of his ancestors--no
beginning or end to his life. He remains
a priest forever, resembling the Son of
4Consider then how great this
Melchizedek was. Even Abraham, the
great patriarch of Israel, recognized how
great Melchizedek was by giving him a
tenth of what he had taken in battle.
5Now the priests, who are descendants
of Levi, are commanded in the law of
Moses to collect a tithe from all the
people, even though they are their own
6But Melchizedek, who was not even
related to Levi, collected a tenth from
Abraham. And Melchizedek placed a
blessing upon Abraham, the one who
had already received the promises of
7And without question, the person who
has the power to bless is always greater
than the person who is blessed.
8In the case of Jewish priests, tithes are
paid to men who will die. But
Melchizedek is greater than they are,
because we are told that he lives on.
9In addition, we might even say that
Levi's descendants, the ones who
collect the tithe, paid a tithe to
Melchizedek through their ancestor
10For although Levi wasn't born yet, the
seed from which he came was in
Abraham's loins when Melchizedek
collected the tithe from him.
11And finally, if the priesthood of Levi
could have achieved God's purposes--
and it was that priesthood on which the
law was based--why did God need to
send a different priest from the line of
Melchizedek, instead of from the line of
Levi and Aaron?
12And when the priesthood is changed,
the law must also be changed to permit
13For the one we are talking about
belongs to a different tribe, whose
members do not serve at the altar.
14What I mean is, our Lord came from
the tribe of Judah, and Moses never
mentioned Judah in connection with the
15The change in God's law is even more
evident from the fact that a different
priest, who is like Melchizedek, has now
16He became a priest, not by meeting
the old requirement of belonging to the
tribe of Levi, but by the power of a life
that cannot be destroyed.
17And the psalmist pointed this out when
he said of Christ, "You are a priest
forever in the line of Melchizedek."
18Yes, the old requirement about the
priesthood was set aside because it was
weak and useless.
19For the law made nothing perfect, and
now a better hope has taken its place.
And that is how we draw near to God.
20God took an oath that Christ would
always be a priest, but he never did this
for any other priest.
21Only to Jesus did he say, "The Lord
has taken an oath and will not break his
vow: 'You are a priest forever.' "
22Because of God's oath, it is Jesus who
guarantees the effectiveness of this
23Another difference is that there were
many priests under the old system.
When one priest died, another had to
take his place.
24But Jesus remains a priest forever; his
priesthood will never end.
25Therefore he is able, once and forever,
to save everyone who comes to God
through him. He lives forever to plead
with God on their behalf.
26He is the kind of high priest we need
because he is holy and blameless,
unstained by sin. He has now been set
apart from sinners, and he has been
given the highest place of honor in
27He does not need to offer sacrifices
every day like the other high priests.
They did this for their own sins first and
then for the sins of the people. But
Jesus did this once for all when he
sacrificed himself on the cross.
28Those who were high priests under the
law of Moses were limited by human
weakness. But after the law was given,
God appointed his Son with an oath,
and his Son has been made perfect
8Here is the main point: Our High
Priest sat down in the place of highest
honor in heaven, at God's right hand.
2There he ministers in the sacred tent,
the true place of worship that was built
by the Lord and not by human hands.
3And since every high priest is required
to offer gifts and sacrifices, our High
Priest must make an offering, too.
4If he were here on earth, he would not
even be a priest, since there already are
priests who offer the gifts required by
the law of Moses.
5They serve in a place of worship that is
only a copy, a shadow of the real one in
heaven. For when Moses was getting
ready to build the Tabernacle, God gave
him this warning: "Be sure that you
make everything according to the design
I have shown you here on the
6But our High Priest has been given a
ministry that is far superior to the
ministry of those who serve under the
old laws, for he is the one who
guarantees for us a better covenant with
God, based on better promises.
7If the first covenant had been faultless,
there would have been no need for a
second covenant to replace it.
8But God himself found fault with the old
one when he said: "The day will come,
says the Lord, when I will make a new
covenant with the people of Israel and
9This covenant will not be like the one I
made with their ancestors when I took
them by the hand and led them out of
the land of Egypt. They did not remain
faithful to my covenant, so I turned my
back on them, says the Lord.
10But this is the new covenant I will
make with the people of Israel on that
day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in
their minds so they will understand them,
and I will write them on their hearts so
they will obey them. I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
11And they will not need to teach their
neighbors, nor will they need to teach
their family, saying, 'You should know
the Lord.' For everyone, from the least
to the greatest, will already know me.
12And I will forgive their wrongdoings,
and I will never again remember their
13When God speaks of a new covenant,
it means he has made the first one
obsolete. It is now out of date and ready
to be put aside.
9Now in that first covenant between
God and Israel, there were regulations
for worship and a sacred tent here on
2There were two rooms in this tent. In
the first room were a lampstand, a table,
and loaves of holy bread on the table.
This was called the Holy Place.
3Then there was a curtain, and behind
the curtain was the second room called
the Most Holy Place.
4In that room were a gold incense altar
and a wooden chest called the Ark of
the Covenant, which was covered with
gold on all sides. Inside the Ark were a
gold jar containing some manna,
Aaron's staff that sprouted leaves, and
the stone tablets of the covenant with
the Ten Commandments written on
5The glorious cherubim were above the
Ark. Their wings were stretched out over
the Ark's cover, the place of atonement.
But we cannot explain all of these things
6When these things were all in place,
the priests went in and out of the first
room regularly as they performed their
7But only the high priest goes into the
Most Holy Place, and only once a year,
and always with blood, which he offers
to God to cover his own sins and the
sins the people have committed in
8By these regulations the Holy Spirit
revealed that the Most Holy Place was
not open to the people as long as the
first room and the entire system it
represents were still in use.
9This is an illustration pointing to the
present time. For the gifts and sacrifices
that the priests offer are not able to
cleanse the consciences of the people
who bring them.
10For that old system deals only with
food and drink and ritual washing--
external regulations that are in effect
only until their limitations can be
11So Christ has now become the High
Priest over all the good things that have
come. He has entered that great, perfect
sanctuary in heaven, not made by
human hands and not part of this
12Once for all time he took blood into
that Most Holy Place, but not the blood
of goats and calves. He took his own
blood, and with it he secured our
13Under the old system, the blood of
goats and bulls and the ashes of a
young cow could cleanse people's
bodies from ritual defilement.
14Just think how much more the blood of
Christ will purify our hearts from deeds
that lead to death so that we can
worship the living God. For by the power
of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered
himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for
15That is why he is the one who
mediates the new covenant between
God and people, so that all who are
invited can receive the eternal
inheritance God has promised them. For
Christ died to set them free from the
penalty of the sins they had committed
under that first covenant.
16Now when someone dies and leaves a
will, no one gets anything until it is
proved that the person who wrote the
will is dead.
17The will goes into effect only after the
death of the person who wrote it. While
the person is still alive, no one can use
the will to get any of the things promised
18That is why blood was required under
the first covenant as a proof of death.
19For after Moses had given the people
all of God's laws, he took the blood of
calves and goats, along with water, and
sprinkled both the book of God's laws
and all the people, using branches of
hyssop bushes and scarlet wool.
20Then he said, "This blood confirms the
covenant God has made with you."
21And in the same way, he sprinkled
blood on the sacred tent and on
everything used for worship.
22In fact, we can say that according to
the law of Moses, nearly everything was
purified by sprinkling with blood. Without
the shedding of blood, there is no
forgiveness of sins.
23That is why the earthly tent and
everything in it--which were copies of
things in heaven--had to be purified by
the blood of animals. But the real things
in heaven had to be purified with far
better sacrifices than the blood of
24For Christ has entered into heaven
itself to appear now before God as our
Advocate. He did not go into the earthly
place of worship, for that was merely a
copy of the real Temple in heaven.
25Nor did he enter heaven to offer
himself again and again, like the earthly
high priest who enters the Most Holy
Place year after year to offer the blood
of an animal.
26If that had been necessary, he would
have had to die again and again, ever
since the world began. But no! He came
once for all time, at the end of the age,
to remove the power of sin forever by
his sacrificial death for us.
27And just as it is destined that each
person dies only once and after that
28so also Christ died only once as a
sacrifice to take away the sins of many
people. He will come again but not to
deal with our sins again. This time he
will bring salvation to all those who are
eagerly waiting for him.
10The old system in the law of
Moses was only a shadow of the things
to come, not the reality of the good
things Christ has done for us. The
sacrifices under the old system were
repeated again and again, year after
year, but they were never able to
provide perfect cleansing for those who
came to worship.
2If they could have provided perfect
cleansing, the sacrifices would have
stopped, for the worshipers would have
been purified once for all time, and their
feelings of guilt would have disappeared.
3But just the opposite happened. Those
yearly sacrifices reminded them of their
sins year after year.
4For it is not possible for the blood of
bulls and goats to take away sins.
5That is why Christ, when he came into
the world, said, "You did not want
animal sacrifices and grain offerings.
But you have given me a body so that I
may obey you.
6No, you were not pleased with animals
burned on the altar or with other
offerings for sin.
7Then I said, 'Look, I have come to do
your will, O God-- just as it is written
about me in the Scriptures.' "
8Christ said, "You did not want animal
sacrifices or grain offerings or animals
burned on the altar or other offerings for
sin, nor were you pleased with them"
(though they are required by the law of
9Then he added, "Look, I have come to
do your will." He cancels the first
covenant in order to establish the
10And what God wants is for us to be
made holy by the sacrifice of the body of
Jesus Christ once for all time.
11Under the old covenant, the priest
stands before the altar day after day,
offering sacrifices that can never take
12But our High Priest offered himself to
God as one sacrifice for sins, good for
all time. Then he sat down at the place
of highest honor at God's right hand.
13There he waits until his enemies are
humbled as a footstool under his feet.
14For by that one offering he perfected
forever all those whom he is making
15And the Holy Spirit also testifies that
this is so. First he says,
16"This is the new covenant I will make
with my people on that day, says the
Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts so
they will understand them, and I will
write them on their minds so they will
17Then he adds, "I will never again
remember their sins and lawless deeds."
18Now when sins have been forgiven,
there is no need to offer any more
19And so, dear brothers and sisters, we
can boldly enter heaven's Most Holy
Place because of the blood of Jesus.
20This is the new, life-giving way that
Christ has opened up for us through the
sacred curtain, by means of his death
21And since we have a great High Priest
who rules over God's people,
22let us go right into the presence of God,
with true hearts fully trusting him. For
our evil consciences have been
sprinkled with Christ's blood to make us
clean, and our bodies have been
washed with pure water.
23Without wavering, let us hold tightly to
the hope we say we have, for God can
be trusted to keep his promise.
24Think of ways to encourage one
another to outbursts of love and good
25And let us not neglect our meeting
together, as some people do, but
encourage and warn each other,
especially now that the day of his
coming back again is drawing near.
26Dear friends, if we deliberately
continue sinning after we have received
a full knowledge of the truth, there is no
other sacrifice that will cover these sins.
27There will be nothing to look forward to
but the terrible expectation of God's
judgment and the raging fire that will
consume his enemies.
28Anyone who refused to obey the law of
Moses was put to death without mercy
on the testimony of two or three
29Think how much more terrible the
punishment will be for those who have
trampled on the Son of God and have
treated the blood of the covenant as if it
were common and unholy. Such people
have insulted and enraged the Holy
Spirit who brings God's mercy to his
30For we know the one who said, "I will
take vengeance. I will repay those who
deserve it." He also said, "The Lord will
judge his own people."
31It is a terrible thing to fall into the
hands of the living God.
32Don't ever forget those early days
when you first learned about Christ.
Remember how you remained faithful
even though it meant terrible suffering.
33Sometimes you were exposed to
public ridicule and were beaten, and
sometimes you helped others who were
suffering the same things.
34You suffered along with those who
were thrown into jail. When all you
owned was taken from you, you
accepted it with joy. You knew you had
better things waiting for you in eternity.
35Do not throw away this confident trust
in the Lord, no matter what happens.
Remember the great reward it brings
36Patient endurance is what you need
now, so you will continue to do God's
will. Then you will receive all that he has
37"For in just a little while, the Coming
One will come and not delay.
38And a righteous person will live by
faith. But I will have no pleasure in
anyone who turns away."
39But we are not like those who turn
their backs on God and seal their fate.
We have faith that assures our salvation.
11What is faith? It is the confident
assurance that what we hope for is
going to happen. It is the evidence of
things we cannot yet see.
2God gave his approval to people in
days of old because of their faith.
3By faith we understand that the entire
universe was formed at God's command,
that what we now see did not come from
anything that can be seen.
4It was by faith that Abel brought a more
acceptable offering to God than Cain did.
God accepted Abel's offering to show
that he was a righteous man. And
although Abel is long dead, he still
speaks to us because of his faith.
5It was by faith that Enoch was taken up
to heaven without dying--"suddenly he
disappeared because God took him."
But before he was taken up, he was
approved as pleasing to God.
6So, you see, it is impossible to please
God without faith. Anyone who wants to
come to him must believe that there is a
God and that he rewards those who
sincerely seek him.
7It was by faith that Noah built an ark to
save his family from the flood. He
obeyed God, who warned him about
something that had never happened
before. By his faith he condemned the
rest of the world and was made right in
8It was by faith that Abraham obeyed
when God called him to leave home and
go to another land that God would give
him as his inheritance. He went without
knowing where he was going.
9And even when he reached the land
God promised him, he lived there by
faith--for he was like a foreigner, living in
a tent. And so did Isaac and Jacob, to
whom God gave the same promise.
10Abraham did this because he was
confidently looking forward to a city with
eternal foundations, a city designed and
built by God.
11It was by faith that Sarah together with
Abraham was able to have a child, even
though they were too old and Sarah was
barren. Abraham believed that God
would keep his promise.
12And so a whole nation came from this
one man, Abraham, who was too old to
have any children--a nation with so
many people that, like the stars of the
sky and the sand on the seashore, there
is no way to count them.
13All these faithful ones died without
receiving what God had promised them,
but they saw it all from a distance and
welcomed the promises of God. They
agreed that they were no more than
foreigners and nomads here on earth.
14And obviously people who talk like that
are looking forward to a country they
can call their own.
15If they had meant the country they
came from, they would have found a
way to go back.
16But they were looking for a better
place, a heavenly homeland. That is
why God is not ashamed to be called
their God, for he has prepared a
heavenly city for them.
17It was by faith that Abraham offered
Isaac as a sacrifice when God was
testing him. Abraham, who had received
God's promises, was ready to sacrifice
his only son, Isaac,
18though God had promised him, "Isaac
is the son through whom your
descendants will be counted."
19Abraham assumed that if Isaac died,
God was able to bring him back to life
again. And in a sense, Abraham did
receive his son back from the dead.
20It was by faith that Isaac blessed his
two sons, Jacob and Esau. He had
confidence in what God was going to do
in the future.
21It was by faith that Jacob, when he
was old and dying, blessed each of
Joseph's sons and bowed in worship as
he leaned on his staff.
22And it was by faith that Joseph, when
he was about to die, confidently spoke
of God's bringing the people of Israel out
of Egypt. He was so sure of it that he
commanded them to carry his bones
with them when they left!
23It was by faith that Moses' parents hid
him for three months. They saw that
God had given them an unusual child,
and they were not afraid of what the
king might do.
24It was by faith that Moses, when he
grew up, refused to be treated as the
son of Pharaoh's daughter.
25He chose to share the oppression of
God's people instead of enjoying the
fleeting pleasures of sin.
26He thought it was better to suffer for
the sake of the Messiah than to own the
treasures of Egypt, for he was looking
ahead to the great reward that God
would give him.
27It was by faith that Moses left the land
of Egypt. He was not afraid of the king.
Moses kept right on going because he
kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.
28It was by faith that Moses commanded
the people of Israel to keep the
Passover and to sprinkle blood on the
doorposts so that the angel of death
would not kill their firstborn sons.
29It was by faith that the people of Israel
went right through the Red Sea as
though they were on dry ground. But
when the Egyptians followed, they were
30It was by faith that the people of Israel
marched around Jericho seven days,
and the walls came crashing down.
31It was by faith that Rahab the
prostitute did not die with all the others
in her city who refused to obey God. For
she had given a friendly welcome to the
32Well, how much more do I need to
say? It would take too long to recount
the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak,
Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and
all the prophets.
33By faith these people overthrew
kingdoms, ruled with justice, and
received what God had promised them.
They shut the mouths of lions,
34quenched the flames of fire, and
escaped death by the edge of the sword.
Their weakness was turned to strength.
They became strong in battle and put
whole armies to flight.
35Women received their loved ones back
again from death. But others trusted
God and were tortured, preferring to die
rather than turn from God and be free.
They placed their hope in the
resurrection to a better life.
36Some were mocked, and their backs
were cut open with whips. Others were
chained in dungeons.
37Some died by stoning, and some were
sawed in half; others were killed with the
sword. Some went about in skins of
sheep and goats, hungry and oppressed
38They were too good for this world.
They wandered over deserts and
mountains, hiding in caves and holes in
39All of these people we have mentioned
received God's approval because of
their faith, yet none of them received all
that God had promised.
40For God had far better things in mind
for us that would also benefit them, for
they can't receive the prize at the end of
the race until we finish the race.
12Therefore, since we are
surrounded by such a huge crowd of
witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip
off every weight that slows us down,
especially the sin that so easily hinders
our progress. And let us run with
endurance the race that God has set
2We do this by keeping our eyes on
Jesus, on whom our faith depends from
start to finish. He was willing to die a
shameful death on the cross because of
the joy he knew would be his afterward.
Now he is seated in the place of highest
honor beside God's throne in heaven.
3Think about all he endured when sinful
people did such terrible things to him, so
that you don't become weary and give
4After all, you have not yet given your
lives in your struggle against sin.
5And have you entirely forgotten the
encouraging words God spoke to you,
his children? He said, "My child, don't
ignore it when the Lord disciplines you,
and don't be discouraged when he
6For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes those he accepts as
7As you endure this divine discipline,
remember that God is treating you as
his own children. Whoever heard of a
child who was never disciplined?
8If God doesn't discipline you as he
does all of his children, it means that
you are illegitimate and are not really his
children after all.
9Since we respect our earthly fathers
who disciplined us, should we not all the
more cheerfully submit to the discipline
of our heavenly Father and live forever ?
10For our earthly fathers disciplined us
for a few years, doing the best they
knew how. But God's discipline is
always right and good for us because it
means we will share in his holiness.
11No discipline is enjoyable while it is
happening--it is painful! But afterward
there will be a quiet harvest of right
living for those who are trained in this
12So take a new grip with your tired
hands and stand firm on your shaky legs.
13Mark out a straight path for your feet.
Then those who follow you, though they
are weak and lame, will not stumble and
fall but will become strong.
14Try to live in peace with everyone, and
seek to live a clean and holy life, for
those who are not holy will not see the
15Look after each other so that none of
you will miss out on the special favor of
God. Watch out that no bitter root of
unbelief rises up among you, for
whenever it springs up, many are
corrupted by its poison.
16Make sure that no one is immoral or
godless like Esau. He traded his
birthright as the oldest son for a single
17And afterward, when he wanted his
father's blessing, he was rejected. It was
too late for repentance, even though he
wept bitter tears.
18You have not come to a physical
mountain, to a place of flaming fire,
darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the
Israelites did at Mount Sinai when God
gave them his laws.
19For they heard an awesome trumpet
blast and a voice with a message so
terrible that they begged God to stop
20They staggered back under God's
command: "If even an animal touches
the mountain, it must be stoned to
21Moses himself was so frightened at
the sight that he said, "I am terrified and
22No, you have come to Mount Zion, to
the city of the living God, the heavenly
Jerusalem, and to thousands of angels
in joyful assembly.
23You have come to the assembly of
God's firstborn children, whose names
are written in heaven. You have come to
God himself, who is the judge of all
people. And you have come to the
spirits of the redeemed in heaven who
have now been made perfect.
24You have come to Jesus, the one who
mediates the new covenant between
God and people, and to the sprinkled
blood, which graciously forgives instead
of crying out for vengeance as the blood
of Abel did.
25See to it that you obey God, the one
who is speaking to you. For if the people
of Israel did not escape when they
refused to listen to Moses, the earthly
messenger, how terrible our danger if
we reject the One who speaks to us
26When God spoke from Mount Sinai his
voice shook the earth, but now he
makes another promise: "Once again I
will shake not only the earth but the
27This means that the things on earth
will be shaken, so that only eternal
things will be left.
28Since we are receiving a Kingdom that
cannot be destroyed, let us be thankful
and please God by worshiping him with
holy fear and awe.
29For our God is a consuming fire.
13Continue to love each other with
true Christian love.
2Don't forget to show hospitality to
strangers, for some who have done this
have entertained angels without
3Don't forget about those in prison.
Suffer with them as though you were
there yourself. Share the sorrow of
those being mistreated, as though you
feel their pain in your own bodies.
4Give honor to marriage, and remain
faithful to one another in marriage. God
will surely judge people who are
immoral and those who commit adultery.
5Stay away from the love of money; be
satisfied with what you have. For God
has said, "I will never fail you. I will
never forsake you."
6That is why we can say with confidence,
"The Lord is my helper, so I will not be
afraid. What can mere mortals do to
7Remember your leaders who first
taught you the word of God. Think of all
the good that has come from their lives,
and trust the Lord as they do.
8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday,
today, and forever.
9So do not be attracted by strange, new
ideas. Your spiritual strength comes
from God's special favor, not from
ceremonial rules about food, which don't
help those who follow them.
10We have an altar from which the
priests in the Temple on earth have no
right to eat.
11Under the system of Jewish laws, the
high priest brought the blood of animals
into the Holy Place as a sacrifice for sin,
but the bodies of the animals were
burned outside the camp.
12So also Jesus suffered and died
outside the city gates in order to make
his people holy by shedding his own
13So let us go out to him outside the
camp and bear the disgrace he bore.
14For this world is not our home; we are
looking forward to our city in heaven,
which is yet to come.
15With Jesus' help, let us continually
offer our sacrifice of praise to God by
proclaiming the glory of his name.
16Don't forget to do good and to share
what you have with those in need, for
such sacrifices are very pleasing to God.
17Obey your spiritual leaders and do
what they say. Their work is to watch
over your souls, and they know they are
accountable to God. Give them reason
to do this joyfully and not with sorrow.
That would certainly not be for your
18Pray for us, for our conscience is clear
and we want to live honorably in
everything we do.
19I especially need your prayers right
now so that I can come back to you
20And now, may the God of peace, who
brought again from the dead our Lord
Jesus, equip you with all you need for
doing his will. May he produce in you,
through the power of Jesus Christ, all
that is pleasing to him. Jesus is the
great Shepherd of the sheep by an
everlasting covenant, signed with his
blood. To him be glory forever and ever.
22I urge you, dear brothers and sisters,
please listen carefully to what I have
said in this brief letter.
23I want you to know that our brother
Timothy is now out of jail. If he comes
here soon, I will bring him with me to
24Give my greetings to all your leaders
and to the other believers there. The
Christians from Italy send you their
25May God's grace be with you all.